5 Things to Know Before Adopting a Senior Pet

Whether you currently own a senior pet or you’re planning to adopt one, wouldn’t you agree that they are amazing creatures? Senior pets have so much to offer a family. They may come with different responsibilities than a younger pet, but they are equally as beautiful. Wouldn’t you agree?

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month so we thought we would take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about senior pets and how one might be the perfect fit for you.

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Is Your Pet a Senior?

senior-careIs your cat or dog showing signs of ageing? Has he begun to slow down or act differently from when he was a little one? This might be completely normal, but sometimes hard to accept for pet parents. Our pets are precious members of our families and the last things we want to think about is losing them or something going wrong. But being a senior pet doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog or cat is on the brink of death. It simply means that they are maturing and changing. This can be a good thing!

According to a recent PetMD article, “giant breed dogs like Great Danes are generally considered to be a senior by roughly 5-6 years old, whereas a smaller breed dog like a Chihuahua would probably only enter the senior stage between 10-11 years. Cats can be considered senior when they are between seven and ten years old. According to the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), the term “senior” can describe an aging pet, but the number of years considered to be “senior” varies.” 

Do you have a “senior” pet? Share a picture of him or her on our Facebook page! We’d love to meet them!

There are a few things to keep an eye on no matter what age your pet is. Always remember that anything you are concerned about should be discussed with your pet’s veterinarian. Just asking the question can sometimes make you feel a million times better.

14 things to watch out for or question with ageing pets

  1. Loss of vision or “cloudy eyes”
  2. Hearing loss
  3. Decreased appetite
  4. Lack of energy
  5. A serious change in behavior
  6. Limping or excessive scratching
  7. Weight gain or weight loss in excess
  8. Abnormal voluntary isolation
  9. Excessive drooling and/or bad breath
  10. Increased urination around the home
  11. Lack of interest in things they used to enjoy
  12. Pet hip and joint pain
  13. Amplified aggression or acting more territorial
  14. Abnormal sensitivity to changes in weather

There are several signs that your pet is headed into his or her senior years, but there are also many signs that there is a bigger problem. It’s important not to chalk it up to “my pet is just getting older”.  Sometimes it’s just part of the ageing process and other times it is not. A veterinarian that knows your pet will most likely be able to give you insight into what is happening with your furry companion.